Accounting Consultant: Career and Salary Facts

Explore the career requirements for an accounting consultant. Get the facts about career outlook and earning potential to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Accounting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is an Accounting Consultant?

Accounting consultants analyze a client's financial performance. They usually create statistics reports on the financial department for the purpose of improving the efficacy of the overall company. They make suggestions for investments and financial management. The following chart gives you an overview of what you need to know about entering this field.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Key Responsibilities Organize and maintain client's financial records
Advise and recommend investment opportunities
Prepare tax documents
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 11% (for all accountants and auditors)*
30% (for all personal financial advisors)*
Median Salary (2015) $68,964 (for all accounting consultants)**
$67,190 (for all accountants and auditors)*
$89,160 (for all personal financial advisors)*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS); **Payscale.com

What Type of Work Does an Accounting Consultant Do?

As an accounting consultant, your job focuses on arranging and safeguarding financial portfolios to benefit your client - whether it is via more efficient use of money or reporting data to committees for analysis and fraud prevention. This field of work is a subfield of accounting and could consist of crunching numbers, analyzing economic trends and advising clients on their finances. Your job is to advise an agency or organization's finances, which could include taxes, stock portfolios, investments or payroll. At first, you may specialize in one area; but then you may advance in your position to take charge of overarching financial goals and management.

You may work with finance software programs like Finance Logix Retirement Planner and CRM Software Junxure, and it can be helpful if you familiarize with finance technologies like e-payments and online portfolios. You are likely to work with a team unless you open your own financial consulting business.

In What Areas Might I Find Employment?

You also have the option of working in any sector: public, corporate, government or nonprofit. You may wish to target your education and training to suit the realm where you see yourself employed.

In the public sector, you help individuals manage their money. Also known as a personal financial advisor, you might focus on managing tax profiles, planning finances or selling insurance plans. Depending on the level of income and investments with which you're working, your job title would be private banker or wealth manager.

In the corporate sector, you could work for a large firm. Your job would be to investigate and assess clients' financial situation and offer suggestions for improvement. Projects may range from information technology risk to internal auditing. You could be working with one business at a time, which may require travel. Deadlines are also very important, so expect crunch times.

The government and nonprofit sectors could offer more stability because it's more likely that you'll work with the same agency your entire career, which means little to no travel and regular business hours. It is also possible that you may work within one area of the government for many different agencies.

What Is My Potential Job Outlook?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the amount of available accounting jobs is expected to increase by 11% between the years 2014 and 2024, adding about 142,400 new jobs (www.bls.gov). Becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), specializing in international trade or earning a master's degree in business administration or accounting can give you better opportunities. Strong communications skills may increase your competitiveness on the job market. Familiarity with accounting software and finance programs may also increase your prospects.

Personal financial advisors have the highest projected growth, according to the BLS, although the competition for these jobs will maintain intensity due to high wages and ease of entering the field. The BLS revealed that between 2014 and 2024, the job market for financial advisors is expected to increase by 30%, adding 73,900 new jobs. This is likely due to the baby boomers looking for retirement advice and the increasing complexity of investment portfolios.

How Much Money Can I Make?

Annual salaries in this field of work vary greatly. The BLS disclosed that the median wage for all accountants nationwide was $67,190 as of May 2015. Meanwhile, the same source and statistics for personal financial advisors was $89,160. According to Payscale.com, as of 2017, most accounting consultants reported salaries between $39,942 - $113,614. This range may be more variable than the national median because it's based on input from participating consultants.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Related careers include cost estimators, financial analysts and insurance underwriters. Cost estimators help businesses find out how much resource will be needed to produce a service. Financial analysts offer investment advice. Insurance underwriters set the premium costs and coverage totals for insurance plans. These fields require a bachelor's degree for entry.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. Next »